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Surgical tool left in patient sparks medical malpractice lawsuit

When a Pennsylvania resident goes for medical treatment, there is an expectation that the care will be aboveboard, the medical staff will be vigilant, and careless mistakes will not happen. Unfortunately, they happen across the nation and, frequently, are done to those who have sacrificed for their country - U.S. military veterans. Given the turmoil at facilities operated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, it is becoming all-too common to hear of allegations of medical malpractice. When this occurs, it could be the basis for a lawsuit.

A veteran of the U.S. Army was suffering from abdominal pain and dizziness and went for an examination. When he was given an X-ray, a scalpel was found in his body from a surgery that was conducted in 2013. The man was receiving an MRI when the pain he had been feeling grew drastically worse. When he was removed from the machine and given an X-ray, the scalpel was clearly seen in his abdomen. It has been removed, but he has filed a lawsuit against the VA due to his pain, the rehabilitation he needed, medical costs, and lost time at work.

Any medical mistake can be damaging to the patient. In some instances, it is fatal. A person who goes for treatment at a medical facility does not expect medical negligence, hospital negligence or surgical errors to harm them.

One of the most egregious mistakes that medical professionals can make is leaving a medical tool inside a patient when performing surgery. This type of mistake can result in the need for extended treatment, lost wages and death. A full investigation is needed to determine how and why it happened and to hold the negligent staff responsible.

Source: Hartford Courant, "Lawsuit Claims Surgeon At West Haven Veterans Affairs Hospital Left Scalpel In Patient," Don Stacom, Jan. 15, 2018

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